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Mitch Wallis: Founder of Eatopia ExpressWhose idea was it to open up a vegan fast food restaurant?
Brad Wolff, vegan food scientist
Larry Sarner, CPA, formerly with Pepsico
Stewart Voeltz, Architect, project planner, (has designed numerous fast food restaurants including Taco Bells, Sizzlers, KFCs, etc)
Mitch Wallis, attorney - macrobiotic chef
Justice Fields, attorney-vegan activist
Where is the original Eatopia located and how long has it been there?
San Diego, Ca (Ocean Beach) about 50 feet from the beach opened on March 8, 2002
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Everything is vegan (100% plant based ingredients, no honey). Everything is organic and used unrefined whole foods.
Decadent shakes made from soy delicious ice cream, soy milk, fruits, seeds, nuts, etc; fresh squeezed medicinal juices -- the entire range from carrot to apple to orange to all of the green veggies.
International wraps stuffed with organic veggies, soy chicken or tofu, follow your heart mozarella, and more. These wraps range from Bold Black bean and rice to Cosmic California (veggie/avocado) to Thai with a rich peanut sauce to Carribean with pineapple, to savory BBQ (un-steak in a tangy sauce with brown rice)
And for dessert, organic raw fruit pies (coconut-cashew-cream, pecan, fruit flavors like blueberry, strawberry, and banana/pineapple) and coming soon, vegan soft serve and a wide variety of fresh baked desserts like cakes, cookies, and muffins.
Do you have plans to branch out and open other Eatopias in other cities?
Yes, the Ocean Beach unit is a prototype for our Eatopia Express concept. Its real small and versatile, can fit into a food court, shopping mall, airport, or in any in-line shopping center.
If someone was interested in opening a franchise, who would they contact, and how much does it cost to get started?
Contact Mitch Wallis at the corporate headquarters: (760) 320-2455 1111 North Palm Canyon Drive suite A Palm Springs, CA 92262 email@example.com
It's very affordable to open one of these units -- less than 100k including EVERYTHING.
Do you think the country is ready for a vegan fast food restaurant?
Yes, the demand is huge. Just look at the Burger King Veggie Burger -- this is proof positive of the huge demand.
Also, look at the phenomenal success of grocery and natural food stores and the expanding natural food sections and product mix. Now at the major grocers you have soy milk, soy ice cream, soy everything, not to mention all of the meat analog products and healthier snack foods and desserts.
What sort of feedback have you received from guests at Eatopia?
Typical comments are they just can't believe how good the food is, it's far beyond their expectations.
What challenges have you faced with getting Eatopia going?
Its always a struggle raising capital at the very beginning. Human nature tends towards I don't want to help bake the bread but I sure do want to eat it when its ready. So we've had to finance the initial unit ourselves and carry all of the start up costs.
What's the most popular item on the menu?
Probably the Cosmic California Wrap and the chocolate raspberry shake...